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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,029

    Default favorite western saddle

    What is everybody's favorite brand of western saddle, and what are some brands that you wouldn't touch with a ten foot long pole?

    I personally love circle y, my first horse came with an ancient circle y that was super comfortable, wish I had never sold that saddle. I have also owned a Billy Royal that was like riding on butter, but sold it to buy my horse trailer.

    I think the biggest no-no for me is Hilason. A friend of mine owned one and the tree on it ended up being broken. Sadly she didn't notice until it had done some major damage to her horse's back. The leather was also cheap and the saddle was falling apart after about 6 months of use.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2009
    Posts
    404

    Default

    I have two older Simco saddles that I dearly love. Note that they are both 30+ years old---I haven't sat in a newer one to compair. And, I have one Lady Fabtron that is new and pretty confy on the trail.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
    Posts
    847

    Default

    I love Dale Martin saddles. I have regular cutting saddles and ranch cutter saddles. Mine are almost ten years old and still look new. Extremely well made with excellent quality leather. One of the best "investments" I have made!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    703

    Default

    For a wade I like McCalls. I have a JC Martin that I love, but his saddles are very inconsistent, especialy his new ones.

    They don't make then any more, but the Roohide reining saddles are to die for!

    I hate Double Ts. I've never seen I've fit a horse well.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2005
    Posts
    2,185

    Default

    I have a Martin's reining saddle that I love!! I like older Crates but the newer ones not so much.....
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,145

    Default

    The old Herefords, Simcos (meaning 1970s and older) are tough old saddles. I like older Crates too, just haven't sat in any new ones.

    I have three Rocking Rs (made in Ider, AL...there are two of that brand name). Well made, well balanced, excellent quality leather. I have a fairly new Bighorn that is good, too.

    You could not give me a:
    Hilason
    Double T
    Royal King ( I think that's it- cheap saddles you see in the Valley Vet catalog)

    I can't comment on the high end show saddles.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2001
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    1,069

    Default

    I love the 2 Crates that I have had in the last 15 years or so and have ridden in a couple others that I really liked as well. Bought my last in 2007 so I don't know about the current quality.

    The newer Simco (and this was at least 10 years ago) that I rode in was miserable. Crappy leather and super, super uncomfortable.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    1,782

    Default

    I don't have much experience with different saddles. I've had a Textan and a Circle Y and liked them both.

    But, I LOVE LUV LOFF my Dale Chavez show saddle. I'm hoping to get be a trainer (saddle) in the spring. Kind of secretly hoping Santa brings it to me early.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
    Posts
    3,080

    Default

    I have two Blue Ribbon saddles, one a decked out show saddle and the other a work saddle. They're heavy, but gorgeous and they put me in just the right position. I have a Dale Martin trail saddle that I love, and I also really love my Circle Y trail saddle. Lots of D-rings and string ties. I have a Dale Chavez show saddle, too, which I think is beautiful and comfortable.

    That's a lot of saddles....I can't bring myself to part with any of them, either. I have a couple of English saddles, too.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,129

    Default

    I have used Ryons old Amy Gambling cutting saddles for ranch work, have an Oliver's lady modified low association #95 ranch saddle that is perfect for me and practically every horse it was used on and a Bob's Lady reiner.

    I don't like at all the wade, no swell saddles, they feel like a bump on a log, unless they have bucking rolls and then they may as well have swells, no need to have slick fronts.

    I still prefer my English saddles for most anything I can get by not using my western saddles, as they are so much more free on the leg, lighter and easier to feel a horse for me.

    One problem for those with super short legs, as I am, is that, even the most free swinging western fenders tend to bind a bit on such short lengths, something that a longer legged person many not affect so much.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    The old Herefords, Simcos (meaning 1970s and older) are tough old saddles. I like older Crates too, just haven't sat in any new ones.

    I have three Rocking Rs (made in Ider, AL...there are two of that brand name). Well made, well balanced, excellent quality leather. I have a fairly new Bighorn that is good, too.

    You could not give me a:
    Hilason
    Double T
    Royal King ( I think that's it- cheap saddles you see in the Valley Vet catalog)

    I can't comment on the high end show saddles.
    I am looking at possibly getting a Rocking R, must be good saddles if you have three of them!
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2004
    Posts
    331

    Default

    I LOVE cutting saddles and I don't even cut. LOVE THEM. Deep pockets, most well made ones are made for contact and are not bulky under the leg. I had a Roo-Hide and LOVED IT. WISH I hadn't sold it...
    I am buying a Jerry Shaw at the moment. Can't wait till it's paid for!
    I dislike barrel saddles, just don't like the position they put me in. I don't wanna 'call out' any particular brands that I don't like, because some of them have been mentioned here as favorites of other posters. That said, my faves are Roo-Hide, Jerry Shaw and Bobs. I have had good experiences with this place http://cowdogsaddles.com/index.php they only carry GOOD quality stuff, nothing cheap that you are going to regret and I also really like Jes at www.halfcircleranch.com/store/pc/home.asp . She has nice quality brands at fair prices. And she's NICE to work with.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2004
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    The old Herefords, Simcos (meaning 1970s and older) are tough old saddles. I like older Crates too, just haven't sat in any new ones.

    I have three Rocking Rs (made in Ider, AL...there are two of that brand name). Well made, well balanced, excellent quality leather. I have a fairly new Bighorn that is good, too.

    You could not give me a:
    Hilason
    Double T
    Royal King ( I think that's it- cheap saddles you see in the Valley Vet catalog)

    I can't comment on the high end show saddles.
    Yep, 70's Herfords and Simco's are great.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
    Posts
    682

    Default

    I just got a new custom wade saddle. Love it and still getting used to it. Very reasonable, too. While waiting for my custom, I found a used Cactus barrel saddle. It is amazingly comfortable and would consider another Cactus saddle. The Wade is great for trailriding and is actually fairly light weight for a solid wood tree. My mare is very wide shouldered and been a hard horse to fit. I sold a Paul's Custom cowhorse saddle, I really liked it too.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,145

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyedragon View Post
    I am looking at possibly getting a Rocking R, must be good saddles if you have three of them!
    They are! I toured the facility when Randall Black was still alive, probably 10 years ago or so. I had a custom Lady Trail Rider made for my QH- he had tall withers but a very round, broad barrel. It's a hard seat, all smooth leather, minimal tooling. It's heavy-made, and the leather quality is second to none. Later I had another made for my TWH, similar style, but with a bicycle-style seat and darker stain. Then I bought one off the shelf for yet another TWH, their standard gaited style saddle. They are the real deal, many are second generation saddlers as Simco used to make saddles in the area, so there was a lot of knowledge- and equipment available- when they shut down their production line way back. Continental Saddlery is in the area, too- but they charge a lot more, and to my mind, it's not a lot more saddle for the money.

    The TWH saddle:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/31281399@N06/2929502464/

    If you have any questions, they are very responsive, or I'll answer what I can.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2009
    Posts
    464

    Default

    I have a Kathy's trainers roughout working saddle that I adore. By some miracle, it fits all three of my boys, from the narrow as a pole 3 yr old, to the warmblood-built hunt seat horse, to the mutton-withered, wide barreled trail horse (for whom I haven't found any other saddle that will fit). I have no idea how it works, but it does. I bought it unused from a lady who had it custom made for her broodmare but then decided she was going to breed her again. Don't think I've ever come across another one, so either they didn't make that many of them or people just don't get rid of them once they have them.

    I also know several people who have RS Saddlery work saddles who adore them. Relatively inexpensive new and again, those who have them just don't sell them.
    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 1999
    Location
    A place called vertigo
    Posts
    12,395

    Default

    I have 2 Circle Y High Horse show saddles, and I'm not impressed with the comfort level. One of them puts my legs too far in front of me. The horses don't seem to mind them, though. I just got Flash Jr a Rocking R mounted shooting saddle for him to do speed and games in, and it is a really comfy saddle. He's only ridden in it once, but was just gushing about how much he liked it. Compared to the Circle Y show...I sat in it just to see what he was talking about, and it is very comfy. The seat feels a little more narrow than the Circle Y, which is like sitting in a chair. I will probably look for a Rocking R before I get another High Horse saddle when/if I get another one.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,197

    Default

    Circle Y for sure; my husband and I fight over the one we have! LOVE it and it seems to fit all the horses well!! I also have an old barrel saddle I love, just holds me really well, a Double D I think. I hate our Crates - doesn't fit me or my husband, generally unpleasant. Have tried to pass it on but I think others agree!!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2007
    Location
    Warsaw, On
    Posts
    461

    Default

    I am still in love with my Billy Cook Pro Reiner. It has fit every horse I have tried it on so far. I also have a really nice older Bona Allen. It doesn't fit everyone, but OMG it's a beaut on those it does fit!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    5,957

    Default

    As a native Texan I favor the old Ryons and saddles of that ilk. My '65 Tex Tan Hereford is still fine for a cheapie ($150 new back in the day) but doesn't fit current stock. My sister's late '60s Cutter Bill is also supremely comfy. My uncle made some good saddles too but they were never commercially sold (in fact the wait list was too long for me to ever get one though he did make me a nice headstall).

    I have a McCall Wade and like it fine- though it is a tinch big in the seat for me, it's a 16 incher that I bought solely because it fit my hard to fit gelding. I also have a custom made saddle made by a young saddler in Monroe Utah that I quite like. Loved a Crates reiner I tried a few years ago, but it didn't fit the horse. Briefly had a Circle Y that the horse outgrew after a year or so (long story)- it was okay.

    Not all that familiar w/Colorado saddlery but would avoid based on a friend's experience. She bought a new one, had some issues, sellers insisted nothing wrong with saddle, good clinician took a look and demonstrated to all that it was built on a flawed tree- easy to see it was asymmetrical and should never have been finished, let alone left the saddlery.



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